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Michael S Doyle: - If you are working on what you know you are not practicing


Michael S Doyle


Music is life. It is to be able to take a material and make something artistic out of it. It is knowing how to reach people’s emotions through sound. It is the ability to present something on stage and reach people.




Evidence Jazz Group live in 2014


Growing up in New York I was exposed to music. My parents had a record collection of over 3000 LP recordings. So, I heard a lot of Jazz, Classical, and also Caribbean music – representing my Caribbean background on my father’s side of the family. My mother, who was also an avid Jazz fan, came from the rural south, but through her I mainly heard R&B, Gospel and the Blues.

I grew up in the Disco era. During that time many of the Jazz greats were still with us, so I had frequent opportunities to see and meet Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon, et cetera.

I knew that music was what I wanted to do in life as early as the 2nd grade. Originally it was a Miles Davis-album that inspired it. I wanted to play trumpet because I heard Miles Davis, and especially his Sketches of Spain recording. Then I heard Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane on other recordings with Miles Davis. That is what made me want to play saxophone. But at the time, being a 2nd grader, I was too small to play, so I had to wait until 4th grade to start on saxophone.



What I liked about Jazz music was that is was not the same, repetitive thing. Every time I heard this music there was always something different and something unexpected.

I was in the All-City High School Jazz Band under the direction of Justin DiCioccio. I am fortunate to have worked with many greats such as Milt Hinton, Frank Foster, et cetera.


I wound up in Michigan through my military service.

Right now I am working with a band called Stone Soul Rhythm Band. We play R&B and popular music.

I have been working with the Evidence Jazz Group for 25 years, and we have three recordings out. One great thing about that is that there has been individual name mention of all the musicians in both Downbeat and Jazztimes Magazines.


You have to be dedicated. You have to be willing to really study, and I mean to study all kinds of music. You can’t have a one track mind. When I studied with Donald Byrd he really had a good talk with me about the importance of versatility.

It is important that you practice and learn your craft well. You have to work on things that you don’t know. If you work on things that you know you are not really practicing.


At this time we really have to be ready to play. With the re-openings people and venues are not going to wait. They want live music now. People don’t realize that it takes us a lot of work to put things together.

One of the things, that I believe is more present now, is a deeper appreciation for life within people.



MICHAEL S DOYLE is a saxophonist and a native New Yorker, who is based in Michigan. With a university degree in music, a background in the Army, and an impressive CV to his name, Doyle has performed with the Evidence Jazz Group for 25 years, while also working with other musical projects.

Find out more HERE

T.K. Blue on his nourishing journey


T.K. Blue

Music is spiritual nourishment for the soul. It’s a sacred art that brings all people together, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, or ethnic background.

There were several factors that influenced my early attraction to the saxophone. I used to listen to James Brown as a teenager and I love Maceo Parker on alto sax. I used to pretend that I was playing those sax solos with the “Godfather of Soul”.  Tenor sax man Billy Mitchell, who played with Count Basie, lived down the street from where I grew up. Once he saw my interest in jazz and the saxophone, he gave me lessons very early in my career. He was my teacher at the Henry Street Settlement on the lower eastside in NYC. Conrad Buckner, a famous tap dancer, inspired me as well. He also lived down the street from where I grew up in Lakeview, Long island. He loved jazz and played many albums for me. In fact, he played a recording, which featured Ray Charles on alto sax with Milt Jackson on piano. I never knew Ray played alto sax. John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders were huge influences. There is a fantastic organization in Harlem called Jazzmobile. They have a Saturday jazz program for young musicians. I was quite fortunate to study with Jimmy Owens, Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins, Chris Woods, and Jimmy Heath.

New York means a lot to me. Many great musicians come to NYC to live and perform. It’s a cultural center and a magnet. It gives me motivation and keeps me humble, as there are so many excellent musicians who play on a very high level. It motivates me to practice, practice, and practice!!!!!

In my studies I doubled in psychology and that probably means something to my musicianship on an esoteric level. I have thought about combining the two, of healing people with music instead of chemical drugs. Music therapy is a very viable avenue that I hope to explore one day.

I lived in Paris for some years and it was a fantastic experience. It allowed me to play with people from many countries and experience many different musical styles. The lines demarcating different styles of music can be less rigid in Paris than New York. I find Europe a little easier to cross musical boundaries without being pigeonholed into one particular style.

I teach a lot, and what I look for in students are discipline and consistency. I look for seriousness, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. There are a lot of distractions in life and a student must be disciplined to keep their practice regiment intact.

When recording a new project, I try to keep things as natural as possible in the studio. Eye contact is essential as well as a relaxed atmosphere. It’s really all about love and communication. When musicians love and respect each other, great beauty is created!!!

 

T.K. Blue

 

The latest album A Warm Embrace (2014)

 

 


TK Blue is a saxophonist and flutist from New York. His many collaborations include work with Don Cherry, Abdullah Ibrahim, Randy Weston, Benny Powell, Jayne Cortez, Jimmy Scott and Randy Brecker. Blue has released nine solo albums and devoted himself extensively to teaching. He is currently full-time professor and director of jazz studies at Long Island University. Find out more HERE

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